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Videos, referees and unwanted records as the tide turns | Lions Weekly Round-up #6

By Josh Raisey
Chris Harris and Robbie Henshaw/ PA

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The British & Irish Lions Weekly round-up, brought to you by The Famous Grouse


The Test series was turned on its head on Saturday, as South Africa comprehensively beat the Lions 27-9, producing a 21-0 second-half display having trailed by three at the break. The momentum was with Gatland’s side going into the match, and even after 40 minutes, but things changed drastically in Cape Town on Saturday evening.


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Mike Dawson & Mike Brown Quiz 3 (do Not use)
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Mike Dawson & Mike Brown Quiz 3 (do Not use)

Finn Russell remains the main injury concern in the Lions camp, although he returned to training last week as he reaches the final stages of his recovery from an Achilles problem. The Scot should be in contention to play in the third Test.

Meanwhile, man of the match in the 2019 World Cup final Duane Vermeulen has joined the Springboks camp, although Pieter-Steph du Toit came off with a shoulder injury in the weekend’s match.


The week leading up to the match was dominated by South Africa director of rugby Rassie Erasmus’ infamous video, which was an hour-long tirade about the officiating in the first Test. With the rugby world wondering whether Gatland would be responding with a video of his own this week, he was swift to dismiss the possibility after the loss.


“I thought it (Erasmus’ video) was pretty interesting. I won’t be going on social media this week,” Gatland said.

“We’ll keep things to ourselves and keep to the proper channels.”


The second Test saw the Lions register the lowest metres per carry for a tier one team since Opta records began. The side only managed 1.24 metres per carry, which is the perfect illustration of how aggressive the South African defence is.



There was only one debutant in the second Test, Scotland’s Chris Harris, who started in the No13 shirt and is our tourist of the week. Harris announced himself to the Springboks after only a few minutes of play with a bone crunching tackle on his opposite number Lukhanyo Am.


Referee Ben O’Keeffe was kept busy throughout the match on Saturday but particularly in the first half, which at times seemed more like a brawl that was interspersed with a bit of rugby. The TMO Marius Jonker was also called upon several times in the opening 40, extending the first half to over an hour. Following the close of the half, Murray White came in with the Tweet of the week, pointing out that it was longer than Erasmus’ video on Thursday.

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